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Articles in the October 2009 Department

Cinema and Television, October 2009 »

The Headless Woman
[30 Oct 2009 | One Comment | 1,986 Views]
The Headless Woman

A woman believes she killed a boy with her car. Whether or not she actually did is irrelevant. The scene of the accident is disconcerting and we might spend the entire film looking for clues pointing to a definite answer. Many viewers have done this, and I did as well during my second viewing. However, it was during this second viewing that I realized that my detective work was largely unnecessary. What matters is that the woman believes she is a killer and that she does not react accordingly. Even …

Cinema and Television, October 2009 »

[29 Oct 2009 | No Comment | 1,530 Views]
Here Be Wild Things

Finally, a children’s movie that respects children.  Or a film that decided it didn’t care if the children/parents seeing it got scared or thought it was too dark and honest. Where the Wild Things Are is unflinching in the concept that children can be treated like adults and stays true to its opening few minutes. This is the third film this year for children that has opened up with a more adult approach. 1  This film, in most people’s heads, shouldn’t even have existed. I mean, the source material is …

Cinema and Television, October 2009 »

A Guide to Horror in 2009
[28 Oct 2009 | 8 Comments | 1,737 Views]
A Guide to Horror in 2009

As a horror fiend, I’ve made my fair share of trips to the movie theatre this year. I am especially lucky to live in a city like Montreal, because I was able to see every single one of these on the big screen, thanks to smaller independent theatres and Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival (which I can’t recommend enough). This being the time of year for the spooks, and when most people want to get their horror fill, I thought I’d lend my own experiences to help people choose what to …

Cultural Comment, October 2009 »

[23 Oct 2009 | 9 Comments | 7,027 Views]
<i>Portal</i> and The Meta-Narrative Maker

Portal was a surprise when it was released in 2007. An inconspicuous and concise addition to the venerable Half-Life franchise, Portal was anticipated mainly for its unique gameplay mechanic: a gun that, instead of killing enemies, allowed a player to essentially draw doorways everywhere. Shoot blue energy at a wall and a blue circle appears. Shoot orange energy at another wall, or somewhere else on the same wall, and an orange circle appears. There is now a wormhole stretching from the blue circle to the orange circle. We can walk …

Cultural Comment, Literature, October 2009 »

Writing and Freedom in Slave Moth
[15 Oct 2009 | No Comment | 1,311 Views]
Writing and Freedom in <i>Slave Moth</i>

The neo-slave narrative, as defined by literary critic Ashraf Rushdy, is a genre of work that grew out of the awareness and turmoil of the 1960s Black Power movement. As a genre, the neo-slave narrative “assumed the form…and the first-person voice of antebellum slave narratives,” while attempting to position itself in the burgeoning debate between mainstream and minority opinion on history and cultural critique of the era.  While the 60s saw an explosion in critique based around deconstruction of dominant genres, like the novel or the tragedy 1, the neo-slave …

Cinema and Television, October 2009 »

[8 Oct 2009 | One Comment | 2,980 Views]
The Listathon: Excalibur

The reivews in this article are drawn from the Listathon project.  Contributors at Playtime picked 20 films they loved to share with other Playtimers, and everyone who contributed a list agreed to watch the amassed films in a rather haphazard manner that can only be described with augury or advanced quantum mechanics.  You can either watch as PTers rip apart each others’ favorite films or join in with the fun in the Listathon thread. This roundtable proceeded between Matt Schneider, Alex M., D.J. Bigalke, and Tracy McCusker.

I recommended Excalibur (Boorman …

Cinema and Television, October 2009 »

The Cove: So Long, and Thanks for All the Polemics!
[1 Oct 2009 | 3 Comments | 3,089 Views]
<i>The Cove</i>: So Long, and Thanks for All the Polemics!

The Cove’s obsession with its own heroics is its most fundamental flaw. A desperate plea to emotion and irrationality, this crowd-pleasing documentary is a facile, ill-conceived piece of agitprop that may end up doing more harm than good to the cause of conservation.